|Domaine de France - Gîtes - Holiday rentals. Penne d'Agenais, Lot et Garonne, Aquitaine.||
Last year we had fantastic grapes, as we look towards spring and summer we are making sure that the grapes are pruned and tied in, already buds are forming. It was 15C here today.
"So the lights shone in Penne this Christmas and so did we.
We had fun finding a Christmas Tree to fit the 15' high ceilings, but the lights look great on the games room terrace. and there was plenty of Greenery to make the Christmas Wreath from too!
Our group booking for a family party went well and the woodburners and fire helped keep things cosy.
Christmas with everyone here was great and we managed to get more work done in the garden, thanks Simon and Aaron.
We learned a lot more about fishing with our next booking:- apparently there is great fishing on the lot, Trout, Perch and Zander. We are glad our carpark was big enough for their boat.
Epiphany is a really important celebration here and the food of the day is "Galettes des Rois" which is a pastry and frangipan pie.
Believe it or not we have bulbs sprouting in the garden and catkins on trees.
"Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas"
Well Christmas appears to have arrived in France. This weekend seems to be the weekend of Christmas Markets. We enjoyed both Penne D'Agenais and Fumel Markets this weekend.
Lots of local produce and if you are young at heart, you can have a visit with Santa.
Truffles, honey, foie gras, chocolates, Saffron, crafts, Christmas gifts
We had some trees that were dead or rotten and potentially dangerous, so they had to be removed. The job this weekend was starting to clear up all the mess and wood. Thanks to Simon we achieved a great deal. The view of the house looks much more open and better.
Looking much tidier here,
We tried some modern sculpture and called this 'The hand maidens tale'
The biggest at about 100 feet high and should be down this week
We did disturb some creatures (who are all okay) we still have not managed to take a picture of our owl, red squirrels or wood pecker who are around most days now.
This weekend we accommodated 15 people in the gites and some in the house, the bride looked lovely, but I enjoyed the cars. The washing and the cleaning however ...
Today we discovered another Chateaux for our guests about 20 minutes from our house. Very interesting, English heritage in style. You certainly need good shoes, a good head for heights and there are some steep steps, what amazing views from the top. https://www.chateaudegavaudun.com/ We have at least four Chateaux within a drive including one of the best in South West France Château de Bonaguil http://www.chateau-bonaguil.com/
This weekend we have a wedding group staying including the bride and groom. 15 in the Gites and 6 in the house! we said we could do large groups so now we are.
We have enjoyed and been busy for the last four weeks, indeed the Three Gites have been full. This week we have a French couple, a Scottish family and a Dutch family with two boys who love the pool. It has been hot this week. They are a splendid group this week, indeed we all got together for a drink and nibbles last night and are looking forward to a group BBQ Thursday. The French go back to work / School very soon and next week we have one Gite empty! (at the moment)
When you move the shutters, be aware what might fall out. (he flew off happily after being awoken)
We have been doing some work on the veg patch, still harvesting squashes, tomatoes and a few beans. from the pictures you can see it is a little overgrown, but still a harvest to be had.
I have planted some leeks, I am unsure they enjoy the 30C heat at the moment. I have a few seeds coming through if it is not too hot!
Today is Paul's Birthday and so we had laid on a spectacular air display of balloons celebrating it. (well actually it is an event put on by a nearby chateau but lets not quibble).
Last week the Town put on a spectacular firework display from the basilica. We had the most amazing display we think it was better than the firework competition on Plymouth Hoe. The timing was perfect as we had friends and family visiting and we had missed two birthdays with our move.
The veg plot has had some work on it and Paul now has his leeks planted. We are picking tomatoes, beans and squashes already, thanks to the previous owners. The plums are ready for picking and we have grapes to pick so I will be jam making shortly.
We have had a couple of wet stormy days but next week looks to be improving again.
We are heading over to Monflaquin this week as there is a medieval festival not to mention the lovely market we discovered this week.
So we arrived on Monday 24th July after a long journey down. the Cat had more room than we did.
We have spent this week cleaning and tidying up things here ready for our first guests.
Who would have thought that a swimming pool would be so complicated. Paul has hovered the pool to help Henri our pool Robot / hoover. Henri has had a new filter bag and has been racing around the pool like a new robot. All is looking good, such a shame Paul and I have been too busy to swim the pool.
We have had help this week from Paul's sister and our Niece who have helped spruce up the Games room, and the two Gites not currently occupied. all is looking good and clean with the welcome packs all ready.
Then we had a thunderstorm this morning, can you believe it? still the washing was wet on the line anyway!
PS we still have our house to sort out!!!
Found this aerial view today of Penne-d'Agenais's which is dominated by the Byzantine-Romanesque-style Notre-Dame de Peyragude basilica, recognisable from afar by its silver dome. From here you can see our house, in the valley.